What is Electronegativity? I’m sure you’ve seen a science experiment that involved electricity and magnetism; if not, then you have at least heard of it. This is the science of why an electron will choose a path in two different paths when placed near an electronegative field. An electronegative field is one in which there is a large number of positively charged metals surrounding an electronegative field. The study of how electrons behave around these fields is called electrochemistry. Let’s look at how an electron behaves in a circuit.
To begin with what is electronegativity we must understand a little bit about the way atoms and molecules work. Atoms are composed of negatively charged protons (positives), electrons (its opposite) and neutrons (no electrons). Atoms must always be in a state of flux, in other words they must be “firing” at each other. As long as the atom is in a conductor, the electricity will be flowing between the atoms. The electric field of a piece of material that contains no electronegativity, has zero attraction for any atoms in the material.
In a complex system like organic chemistry, we observe something different. Because organic chemicals bond together in order to form bonds, all of the bonds are in a highly spontaneous environment, there is no need for any sort of attracting or repelling force to actually build up the force of attraction or repulsion between the atoms. Therefore, what is electronegativity is a measure of the lack of attractive force between the bonded atoms. It is a property of the bond and nothing else.
There are many interesting observations one can make regarding what is electronegativity. One thing that is observed is that in cases where there is a greater amount of charge sharing in comparison to the number of electrons in the atom, the higher the electronegativity tends to be. The reason for this is that if there is more sharing, more pairs of hydrogen atoms will have been bonded with another pair already bonded. It is this property that underlies the usefulness of what is electronegativity in an organic chemistry context.
It is also important to understand that the properties of electronegativity are not universal. Some elements have higher or lower values of the number of hydrogen atoms per atom, which means that the overall value of the element increases or decreases. Furthermore, certain elements have very high or very low valences and so possess different valences. All of these variations in elemental compositions lead to subtle changes in the chemical bonding of the atoms and therefore in their overall chemical properties.
A good way to begin understanding what is electronegativity is to understand the concept of a periodic table. In cases where one has to derive an atomic structure from a set of nuclear structures that are already known to exist, such as in cases of crystalline compounds, one would look at the method by which the various atoms are positioned within the crystal. The location of the atomic structure along the atomic plane is called the crystal structure, and this will be a representative of each element. The central region of the crystal would have a single hydrogen atom, surrounded by hydrogen bonding with another carbon atom. Fluorine atoms, together with a single neutrally bonded carbon, will form the next layer, and so forth.
It is important to understand that the specific arrangement of the electrons that make up an atom is not static, but instead is a very complex process, like the movement of a spring. The first step is for the electron to occupy a ground state, or an electron zero, at the atomic number of the substance being tested. Then there are four distinct levels of electron motion at which the object can be constructed. There are the quark motion, which are very slow; the electrostatic charge, which are extremely fast; the use of an excess of one type of hydrogen and another of another; and the superconducting charge, which is actually slightly faster than the other forms of electron motion. When the electron moves through one of these shells it will create a reaction, and this reaction gives rise to the particular structure of the object being tested, and thus, gives rise to its unique electronegativity.
If we were to look at what is electronegativity then we would find out that sodium chloride is particularly heavy, and so it will have a low amount of bonding electrons compared to other elements. Thus it would have a higher than ideal electronegativity level, which is what is necessary in a substance if a reaction is to take place. If the substance was graphite, then it would have an even higher level of electronegativity, because graphite has many more substances that are bonding to it, and so it also has many more free radicals to split the molecules apart and therefore creates more free electrons. That is why sodium chloride is so good at creating tension. If you put sodium chloride on a wire and pull it really tight, then the bonds are not going to hold, and you’ll notice that the wire separates into two components, and that part will have a higher than ideal electronegativity. Thus, the conclusion would be that what is electronegativity depends upon what kind of atom the substance is, and what kind of molecule is involved in the reaction that is taking place.